I had something of an epiphany last night. (Well, actually, it was more like a "DUH, Bethany!" moment)
A few days ago, I let my 7 year old, Rebecca, write her first ever blog post. She was so excited, that it was all she would talk about for days. She is still asking, "Did I get any more comments?" She was very challenged in the writing of her post and (even more so) in the reading of the comments. But, she is yearning to read the comments all by herself and write all the replies herself. I help a little, but she says, "OK, you can go now," after I answer her question. I secretly laugh with Paul over the way she dismisses me, as though she is such a big girl now!
Then, yesterday, I helped her write a letter to a local friend. We write a few letters a month. I consider it to be part of her schooling. And, as with the blog post, she has to keep copying her letter until it is very well done. Through this, she is learning her spelling rules, grammar/punctuation rules, and much more! I knew this was a good exercise for her, but I really did not see the whole picture until last night.
I always thought that the best way to teach a child to read was to gather (and read) books on any and every topic that the child is interested in. And, that certainly is a GREAT thing to do with a beginning reader. However, Rebecca was not made in such a way that she desires to accumulate knowledge. She asks a lot of questions, and she does like learning, but she does not care to spend time reading to answer her questions. BUT, God has programmed her in such a way that she is VERY driven to want to use language to communicate! More specifically, she desires human relationships. Through writing the blog the other day, she realized that in using her reading and writing skills she can actually communicate with other people!
As I was thinking through this little epiphany of mine, I realized that from a very young age, Rebecca wanted to learn to read the Bible. In fact, this is the only book that she ever seems really interested in reading (by herself). Now I know why, and it is VERY exciting to me! She love the Bible, because it is all about building a relationship! She knows that God is a real being, and that Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc were real people! And, she wants to develope a relationship with God! This is so very exciting to me! I have no doubt that Becca loves the Lord. She hungers for His Word, and wants to learn more... not just facts about the Bible, but the real-life relationship she can have with its Author!
So, I now know that relationships/communication is a motivator to teach Rebecca more about reading and writing. I know that blogging is good for her, along with letter writing. I will be more aware to look for such motivators with my younger children.